Jesus And John The Baptist

Q. Re: Matthew 11:11-15. What is your interpretation of this passage? I am stymied and your opinion would be a grace!

A. In Matt. 11:1-19 Jesus was speaking about John the Baptist. Matt. 11:11-15 identifies John as the last of the Old Testament prophets, and therefore not part of the Church. (The phrase “Law and Prophets” in verse 13 was a popular name for the Old Testament.) In verse 14 Jesus said if Israel had accepted him as such, John would have fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi 4:5, the promised return of Elijah.

The part of this passage that confuses most people is Matt. 11:11-12. Although Jesus called John one of the greatest men in the world, He said even the least of the Church Age believers would have a reward in Heaven greater than John’s. This is because the Church will have a preferential position in the next life that not even the great Old Testament prophets will enjoy.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6-7).

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